CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. — A program in Citrus County is helping give shelter dogs and inmates a second chance.
Kermit the pit bull was found wandering the streets. Diana Ward was found with drugs. Both have a history of being wild and unruly — and both ended up behind bars.
But a program at the Citrus County jail where inmates train shelter dogs to know basic skills is giving hope to both Ward and Kermit, who want to “re-enter” the community changed.
The dogs stay with the inmates for eight weeks teaching them patience and obedience. Training skills that Ward says she desperately needed to learn.
"When the dog came into the picture it taught me how to love someone else," said Ward.
52 shelter dogs have been trained in the past year by Citrus County inmates. They know commands and tricks, they're crate trained and housebroken — all of which is helping the dogs be more adoptable.
Dogs like Phoenix who came to the shelter in bad shape are graduating from training this week happy and healthy, ready to find new homes.
"Whoever gets him is going to be very lucky," said Ward.